Another similarity between my experiences with both infertility and the pandemic is having a lot of unstructured time.
I didn't know I was infertile so when my husband at the time was (finally!) okay with not using contraception anymore, I quit my job in preparation to be a stay-at-home mom. So I also spent my years trying to get pregnant with very long and lonely days.
Now it's a pandemic so none of us (at least in the blogosphere anyway) are living our lives normally. As you already know, the lack of precautions were so bad at my job I resigned. So here I am again, unemployed with lots of unstructured time.
You know, that makes me think of another time period in my life. I had a terrible accident in my early 20s that left me unable to work for a year. That was another chunk of my life with unstructured time.
So, what I'm saying is I have experience with unstructured time on my side.
I... Do not deal well with lack of structure. I thrive on routine. Without it, I can easily overwork myself (in an ineffective way) or, just the opposite, be completely unproductive... For a very long time. I can very quickly and very easily slide into another depressive episode. It takes energy to fight and live this life.
So at the beginning of January, I knew I was going to have to give myself a little bit of structure. Therefore, I wrote a short list of things I wanted to accomplish for Jan./Feb. I didn't write down too many things. I knew I'd be processing my most recent job experience, the last several years of my life, and the pandemic. But I also wanted to make good use of the gift of time I'd been given by getting crap off of my To Do list after they'd been on my mind for a couple of years.
Friends, I would like to celebrate.
We have one more week of February left and I have finally changed my legal name on every important account I have except one! I'll figure out what I need to do for the last account this week and then I will be DONE! My original name will be fully restored and my children's last name will only appear on junk mail in the future, nothing serious or important.
Not as significant, but I also finished unpacking the kitchen boxes from our move last summer, renewed my state professional license, and figured out solutions for several different sewing problems I had. (Turns out, my young friends in grad school were right. Just watch videos online to learn what you need to know!) I got out of bed every morning, showered most days, and stayed on top of the laundry and dishes.
Why yes, I am congratulating myself for maintaining my own adult life for the last 2 months haha.
My two-month list strategy was helpful, so I've already done the same for Mar./Apr. There are just a few more tasks that have been on my mind for a couple of years now. I want to take advantage of this unstructured time to take care of what I've been putting off.
At a leisurely pace of course. ;)
I was quilting these past Friday and Saturday nights. I finally sat down for several hours each night and really enjoyed myself and the process. I thought, "Would I have the time to do this if I had had kids?" The answer is of course. The quilting world is very fertile; there are a ton of quilters with a ton of kids. The few teachers I've had all had kids and talked about teaching them how to sew. I would still sew if I was raising children. Women have literally done it for centuries.
But much more importantly, the answer doesn't matter. Because the fact of my life is I'm not raising kids. And right now I DO have unstructured time. That's just how it is. I don't have to apologize for my life, explain it, or make excuses for it.
But with you all, who understand, I am happy to share that I am living my life. I am using my time well, getting stuff done and enjoying life along the way.